Crate Training for Housetraining

Housebreaking and Potty Training your puppy or newly adopted dog?

A dog crate, introduced early in life, will harness your canine's natural instinct to feel more secure in a personal, safe den. Multifunctional from the time of early ancestry, dens for the domesticated dogs serve as a travel transporter or a home retreat. While training a puppy, pens should not be used for jailed punishment. Let's learn how and why to use this wonderful training tool for housetraining.

As a house training tool, dogs generally will want to stay clean where they sleep; giving your pup more space than he needs promotes a soiled environment. Space (your living room, bedroom, bathroom) vs. confinement of limited space. Purchase the proper size crate for your puppy that is just large enough to stand up and turn around.

Introducing the crate.
Come When Called combined with getting put in the crate means what to your puppy? When her name is called, she's going in the crate. Don't start that habit of calling her name; use a command instead, like "Go to your crate". That will instill exactly what you want her to do and will not be confused with command come when called. Ah ha, light bulb moment for some of us.

Once puppy is inside, praise and reward. If you are clicker training, you will click, praise, reward. Yes, the reward can be kibble or special treat. Leave an open door. Only reward when the pup is inside. Stop rewarding when he leaves. Try again. Lots of attention when he's inside. Not so much so when he steps out. Cause and effect, get it? Next time, close the door with him inside, reward. Open the door to let him out. Repeat. Only train for a few minutes at a time. Why? More successful to hold the pup's short attention span, avoids boredom. Gradually increase the duration.

Crate Liner.
What you place inside the crate is newspaper. Some pet owners find by placing a towel or bedding, the pup will use these extras to soil and dig them to the side. You may want to experiment, finding success or failure by using more than a paper lining to the crate's bottom tray. The paper absorbs any accidents while in the process of training to "hold it". Also, if you have a shredder who likes to chew, towels or bedding can be a material shredded choking hazard.

Short-term Confinement.
Avoid social isolation, position the crate where the family can be seen and heard. In combination, a gated room with hard surface flooring, you have a make shift puppy nursery. Many trainers suggest taking your crated puppy to the elimination area every hour for about three minutes. Should you be leaving the pup alone in the crate, return within two hours.

So what have we learned so far? Introduction to short term, close confinement. Let's move on to misuse.

Crate training problems.
"What went wrong?" Owners fail to teach the pooch how to like the crate or owners leave the untrained puppy confined and alone for too long. Resisting or resenting shows in the pet's behavior in ways like barking or attempting to destroy and/or escape the confinement. Perhaps, uncooperative due to being manhandled with force by way of human temper? Leaving her alone for too long a period of time will cause a soiled mess, sorry, not the dog's fault.